PetroChina Diesel Diluted With Water 40x Over National Limit


A worker fueling cars in a Sinopec station

From NetEase :

PetroChina Diesel Diluted with Water 40 Times Over National Limit, Response: Will Have Negative Impact, Please Don’t Report

2013 December 20, this CCTV [China Central Television] Online reporter visited the PetroChina’s Sales Branch in Shangzhi to investigate, but they refused the interview request.

Recently, Heilongjiang Provincial Law Institute, Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Law Institute Vice Director Wang Xunkun denounced the Harbin Shangzhi Weihe Petrochina gas station on Weibo, claiming that its gas quality is severely substandard

Wang Xukun's Weibo

“With diesel water content 40 times over the national limit, do you dare refuel with this kind of diesel?” Recently, Vice Director Wang Xunkun of the Heilongjiang Provincial Law Institute, Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Law Institute denounced a Harbin Shangzhi Weihe Petrochina gas station on Weibo, claiming that its gas quality is severely substandard. The shocking over-the-limit number caused heated debate. A netizen said: “Domestic gas stations adding water in gas is a common phenomenon. It’s just a question of how much or how little. Car owners are no longer surprised.”


Breaking down twice not long after refueling

Harbin Shangzi city resident Gao Zhanjun has a trailer truck and refueled with 1,900 yuan [314.2 USD] worth of 0# diesel [grades range from 10# to -50#] last October at the Weihe PetroChina gas station. Who knew that after driving 130 kilometers his truck would break down. In accordance with mechanics at Harbin, he purchased and replaced 6 fuel injectors, but the truck broke down yet again 100 kilometers later. Gao Zhanjun once again bought and replaced 6 fuel injectors, spending 25,800 yuan in total [on repairs], but with the truck continuing to have constant problems, mechanics began suspecting fuel quality problems.

“The mechanics released about 4-5 kilograms of water from the fuel-water separator.” Gao Zhanjun said among the drivers he knows, 5 have experienced the same situation after refueling diesel at this gas station.

A Sinopec station

Random Testing

0# diesel suddenly disappears

Gao Zhanjun turned to the Shangzi Trade and Industry Bureau to safeguard his legal rights. When Shangzi Trade and Industry Bureau staff visited the Weihe town PetroChina petrol station, they discovered that the 0# diesel Gao Zhanjun had previously refueled with had suddenly disappeared. Because they were unable to sample [the 0# diesel], the Trade and Industry Bureau could only take a sample of the -20# grade diesel.

Last year on December 10, the Heilongjiang Provincial Quality Supervision Testing Institute test results were released, and found that the -20# grade diesel sample sent by the Shangzhi city Trade and Industry Bureau had 0.2 percent water content, exceeding the maximum allowable 0.005 percent national standard, 40 times over limit.

An investigation to diesel fuel sold at a petrol station owned by China Petrochemical Corporation


Will have negative impact, please don’t report

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A leader of the Petrochina Shangzhi Sales branch previously told this reporter, “this incident has a negative impact on the company, so I hope you people won’t report on it.” On 2014 January 8, the Shangzhi Trade and Industry Bureau reported this case to the Harbin Industry and Commerce Bureau. On January 16, Shangzhi Trade and Industry Bureau Deputy Director Gao Zhiwei said to this reporter: “Because the case is relatively large and very sensitive, we have already requested the Harbin Trade and Industry Bureau make administrative punishments. At present, it is still in discussion, and once there is a conclusion, we will immediately announce them.” According to CCTV report.

A Sinopec station

Comments from NetEase:

hh5168 [网易上海市宝山区网友]:

Petrochina has finally turned water into oil, overcoming the world’s [energy] crisis.

bighuamao [网易浙江省宁波市网友]:

Selling water as fuel to our countrymen, making money and sharing it with Wall Street, state-owned enterprises and government enterprises sure are great.

大江南北遍地游 [网易广西柳州市柳北区手机网友]:

I think PetroChina is quite considerate. Truck drivers drive all over the place, and if they should unfortunately run out of water when they’re driving in the desert, they can drink the diesel to save their lives! Petrochina is truly thinking far-ahead for truck drivers!

红色鸡国 [网易加拿大网友]:

Gasoline prices in China are far more expensive than in the United States! Just calculate and you’ll know just how much more expensive it is!
Because expressways [highways/freeways] in the United States do not collect tolls, we should use Hainan for comparison! That’s because in China, only Hainan expressways don’t collect tolls! The expenses are included in the gasoline prices!
Today, in Hainan, the price of #93 [octane] gas is 8.83 RMB a liter!
Today, throughout the United States, the gas price is 3.295 USD a gallon, or 0.87 USD a liter, which is 5.26 yuan RMB a liter!
So the true price of petrol in China is 67% more expensive than that in America! What more, China’s gas contains over 5 times more sulfur than in the United States! It’s 15 times more than in Japan! Nothing less than being both toxic and expensive! What a difference [“the difference between the heaven and earth”]!
In 2012, in America, the average wage was about 24 USD an hour, which is 50,000 USD a year before tax!
In China, the 2012 average wage was 28,000 for urban residents in private enterprises, 46,000 for urban residents in non-private enterprises. 60% of people work in private enterprises!

So the average urban wage was 35,200 RMB!
So the average wage in America can buy 57,441 liters of gas!
China’s national average wage can buy 3,986 liters of gas! The gap is 14.4 times!
Of course, this kind of comparison is not fair to the United States! Because the income of rural residents is higher than those in the cities! But aside from the 260 million migrant workers who have left the countryside to work in cities, China still has 50% of its people as farmers/peasants in the countryside!
The per capital income of Chinese peasants is only one third of those in the cities so the purchasing power gap is 43.2 times!
On average, when it comes to gasoline purchasing power including highway fees [money, etc. paid to bandits for passage], the gap between China and the United States is 28.8 times! Let’s all thank the country/government!
Now Sinopec is adding water to its already exorbitant gas! Ha ha ha ha ha! Turning water into gas is high-end trickery!

一犟到底 [网易黑龙江省网友]: (responding to above)

Don’t compare everything with the United States. China has 1.4 billion people, so just be happy that you can get enough to eat, because [for China] to attain the [level] of the United States, the Earth would go bankrupt.

多彩极光 [网易福建省手机网友]:

There is probably no good reason for this. According to physics, water is heavier than diesel, so after injecting water, the water and diesel will automatically separate, with the water sinking and the diesel floating on the water (gas stealing in oil depot is all done like this). Unless some chemical method is used making the water soluble in diesel.

xesrac [网易澳大利亚网友]:

This is a widespread problem. Hubei rural gas stations also add water in their gas and ether in their compressed gas canisters!

网易浙江省台州市温岭市手机网友 ip:125.127.*.*:

PetroChina wants to establish long-term cooperation relations with car repair facilities!

长得不行 [网易广东省惠州市手机网友]:

With such science and technology, [China has] already caught up with and surpassed Britain and the United States by 500 years. It may well be asked, what country has such great science and technology!? Our China does! I am a Chinese, and I am proud! We all have the Chinese dream!

东方哄粪匪生 [网易加拿大网友]:

Using gas diluted with water, drinking poisonous milk, breathing polluted air, eating waxed rice, the rabble express that life is very beautiful and happy, and that our Communist Party is good and great.

  • UserID01

    Sounds like a nice big, fat settlement is coming for all of those broken down car parts due to severely diluted fuel. Man, 40x the national limit? That’s nuts. Everyone wants to make a profit, but damn, didn’t they think some real damage was going to come from diluting it THIS much?

    • markus peg

      At that rate they may has well have just used 100% water… They really thought they would get away with that?… They deserve to get sued to closing point…

    • Rick in China

      Settlement? You don’t live or haven’t lived in China long, eh?
      There will be no settlement in any ‘class action’ case, if there is even the possibility of such a case..especially against the largest state owned enterprises. People will get zero, nothing, not even an apology.

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        In the end the official statement will be that the driver bought fake fuel injectors and that the measuring equipment for the fuel/water ratio was Japanese and therefore unreliable.

        • Dax

          Not to mention that the watering-down was doubtless performed by temporary workers.

    • nqk123

      Petrochina is state owned. settlements from state owned enterprises is a Chinese dream

  • mr.wiener

    Anyone doing their own bio-diesel from old cooking oil in China? I know of a few people in Taiwan but it has yet to catch on.

    • Cynic-Al

      You can’t. It’s already recycled into “new” peanut oil before you blink.

      • mr.wiener


    • Irvin

      Will probably kill the cars faster than it kills people.

      • mr.wiener

        Well since the official stuff seems to be watered down homemade bio-diesel might be the safer option, since you control the concentration yourself. Since Chinese people are about the most resourceful [sometimes in a horrifically half-arsed way] people I have ever seen I’m surprised no one is doing this yet. There are car and 4 wheel drive clubs in the west that devoting themselves to these technologies.

        • Germandude

          Since Chinese people are about the most resourceful [sometimes in a horrifically half-arsed way] people I have ever seen

          That’s a joke right?
          “I pay? Switch-off-the-light-turn-off-the-tab-shut-down-the-heater”

          “You pay? Devil-may-care”
          (With you, I mean people unknown to you. Like anyone outside of your family/friend circle)

          • mr.wiener

            That’s human nature…well,… sometime “Chinese nature” is human nature writ large.
            At one end i’d make the example of the Chinese guy constructing a plane in his own back yard, at the other I’d talk about the peasants stealing LPG gas from the leaks in the pipeline and by taking it home in garbage bags to use.

          • Germandude

            Yeah I know. A country and culture of contrasts.

          • mr.wiener

            Amen to that.

          • Paul Schoe

            ai, oei, the sarcasm was steaming of from this one. I had to blow it away, tobe able to read the post ;-)

            Anyway, unfortunately I agree with your I-Pay-You-Pay comparison. It makes such a bleak country. Nothing for somebody they do not know (except, often, for laowei, which is why foreigners often do not recognise the I-Pay-You-Pay description)

          • chosan

            which is NOT being overrun by Sunni Turks

          • mr.wiener

            Go bang that drum elsewhere please.

          • firebert5

            Well, he did say “resourceful” rather than “considerate.”

    • rollin wit 9’s

      New fad already started: Diluting Aquafina with petrol, 40x the national limit and calling it WATER!

  • Gordon Gogodancer

    so they don’t just do that with alcohol?

  • MidniteOwl

    fake gas? damnit, how can people self-immolate properly!

  • Free Man

    Maybe that’s the new and secret way of the chinese government to prevent terrorists from raiding Tiananmen square/Forbidden city and make their cars explode. All terrorists will have a break down long before reaching their destination.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Wait, wait, wait, you sure that’s not a fake car you are putting the fake gas into?

  • Surfeit
  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    Replace gas with water….check
    Steal money from common people………….check
    Prevent water crisis……….fail

  • Mister.Y

    Anyone taking bets on how long its going to take for someone to tell us its not only a Chinese problem, but an American one too?

  • ex-expat

    Wow, I’m fucking shocked.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Okay, I know there’s this big thing about looking to Hydrogen fuel, but I don’t think anyone told them this isn’t the way to do it.

  • Germandude

    I am surprised people are shocked. Did anybody seriously think that out of all places, it’s gas stations where you don’t get cheated?

    • ex-expat

      My post, at least, was sarcastic.

  • xiaode

    “With such science and technology, [China has] already caught up with and surpassed Britain and the United States by 500 years. It may well be asked, what country has such great science and technology!? Our China does! I am a Chinese, and I am proud! We all have the Chinese dream!”

    I would like to understand what that means in this context? This sound´s very much like a copy/paste from a 5Mao-guy…
    And what does he meant by “caught up and surpassed GB + US by 500 years…” ?? Hahaha… Seriously?

    What´s the Chinese dream? Driving with gas which don´t destroy the engine? Wow… I would be so proud if I could do that back in my country… hahaha… (wait… i can do this in my country…)

    • Fancypants

      You’re sarcasm detector seems to have malfunctioned.

    • ex-expat

      I think it’s sarcasm.

      • xiaode

        if so… then it´s a good one…,
        I think you are right!

  • Chan

    This kind of problem can only be solved by a change in Govt. A non-communist Govt.

  • rollin wit 9’s

    Do you have a choice? I can’t remember seeing anything but sinopec stations over the course of many years

  • David

    The comments are great.

  • loki

    5 bucks Says “It was a temporary worker, who put water into the holding tanks. Now that worker cannot be contacted…”

  • SonofSpermcube

    Another reason to not drive in China.

  • North-eastern

    And you thought a car can’t run on water…… puffffff!!!!!

  • hailexiao

    Why diesel of all fuels? Why not gasoline? When water is injected into the cylinder of a gasoline engine, it vaporizes and cools the charge, preventing detonation and increasing effective octane. So diluting gasoline with water might actually make some sense for both PetroChina and consumers. But diesel…you generally want diesel to have as low octane as possible so it doesn’t burn all at once.